Press Room

Audubon Taps Noted Conservation And Communications Leader As New President

The National Audubon Society welcomes veteran newspaper editor David Yarnold as its new President and Chief Executive Officer. A passionate conservationist, Yarnold served as Executive Director of the Environmental Defense Fund [EDF] and was a Pulitzer Prize-winning editor at the San Jose Mercury News.

Well-known in policy and business leadership circles in Washington, D.C., Yarnold joined EDF in April 2005, and was responsible for all operations, from programs to development, marketing and communications. He helped expand EDF’s innovative corporate partnerships work, focused on EDF's international programs, particularly in China, and helped the organization grow from $52M to $117M in revenue. He also led the organization’s political action arm.

“David brings proven leadership in the for-profit and non-profit sectors to Audubon at a time when efforts to protect birds, habitats and the resources that sustain us are needed more than ever; “said Holt Thrasher, Audubon’s Board Chair. “His leadership ability, his passion for conservation and grassroots action, his communications skills and his organizational expertise all make him the perfect fit for the Audubon of 2010 and beyond."

“Audubon’s mission has never been more relevant. From the grassroots to state houses to national and regional policy, its wingspan is unparalleled,” Yarnold said.

“I’m excited by the opportunity to work with a nationwide network of Audubon Chapters and Audubon Centers that combine local concern, knowledge and action to equal conservation that makes a difference on a grand scale. It will be an honor to lead an organization whose name has meant ‘trust ’ and ‘conservation achievement’ for more than a hundred years.”

Yarnold’s San Jose Mercury News was consistently ranked as one of America’s 10 Best Newspapers. His paper was called, “America’s Boldest Newspaper” by a panel of international judges. During his time in San Jose, the Mercury News was widely recognized for its commitment to diversity and for its in-depth coverage of technology. In addition to being editor of the afternoon edition when the staff won the Pulitzer for General News coverage in 1989, Yarnold was also one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists for editorial writing in 2005.

Yarnold will begin a nationwide tour of Audubon offices and sanctuaries starting in Washington D.C. September 13-14. His itinerary includes visiting New Orleans and the Louisiana Coast where Audubon was the first NPO to deploy volunteers in response to the Gulf oil disaster, and where a long term plan includes restoration of an ecosystem that has lost more than 2,300 square miles of wetlands—an area larger than the state of Delaware—since the 1930s.

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